Report 3rd Party Booking Requests

in
St Helena, CA
Level 10
1,408 Views

First, thank you for this forum.  Greatly appreciated.

 

MY EXPERIENCE WITH A 3RD PARTY REQUEST

A user with a photo but no profile description recently requested a long-term (91 day) stay at my property "for my boss and his family."  Slow realization of the risks inherent in this situation caused me great angst.  With pressure to Accept or Decline promptly, I felt placed in an awkward position of attempting to obtain personal information on the actual guest and "family," worried I would be judged as "discriminatory" but ... if open-ended questions don't work... Ultimately I declined as I just didn't feel comfortable with the guest without more information.  Did I just lose $22k booking from a legitimate situation with a busy executive assistant who just doesn't understand the AirBnb trust is based on forthcoming profiles and the mutual review process? With help from other hosts in the Community Forum, I learned my angst was well placed--indeed the practice of third-party booking is not permitted by AirBnb, and there's a long list of good reasons why.

 

So, how to curtail this activity, with the following goals:

(a) assist LEGITIMATE users booking for corporate execs to properly register as a Business Travel Manager, and

(b) relieve host fear that declining/canceling a booking for 3rd party will reflect poorly upon them

 

SUGGESTION

1.  Add "3rd Party Booking not Permitted" to "Reasons for Declining."  This selection could automatically generate a gracious invitation from AirBnb to register the 3rd party user with the accompanying credit and/or sign up for the Business Travel Manager program; if neither happened within a certain number of days, then another follow-up list could be generated for AirBnb to review user activity to de-activate if appropriate.

 

2.  Add "Requesting to book for 3rd Party" to the short list of options for FLAGGING a User Profile

 

MY RESEARCH

This problem is more prevalent than I initially guessed.  My listing has barely been up a few months and I have had two requests that are suspicious.  Many threads exist where experienced hosts help panicked newbies through this, but an automated process would cut down a lot of angst and stress.  The titles are diverse ("help - guest different than user!" or "how to cancel 3rd party guest!" sometimes spelled out "Third Party," or "what to do if guest not same as reservation," or "is my guest subletting?"...

 

Some hosts noted they have accommodated say a nontech-savvy parent being booked by their child, not a big deal.  In cases where there is ample and confidence-building disclosure, perhaps we are willing to take a risk, but the name of guest should be included in the reservation so that the Host Guarantee and Host Coverage are still active for that stay (if this is true?)

 

NOTIFY US

Please consider a simple notification to all hosts that reiterates AirBnb policy and informs us that there is now a selection in the DECLINE function to effortlessly avoid and report 3rd Party Booking requests.

 

Thank you!

8 Comments
in
New York, NY
Level 10

I second @Emily140 suggestion, we need a possibility for declining booking inquiries and requests for 3rd party booking as well as a cancelation possibily when the guest already booked (especially with IB), clearly did not read house rules saying Airbnb's policy is not permiting 3rd party bookings and definitely states in the Airbnb chat/message system that he/she is booking for someone else.

It's very difficult to contact Airbnb every single time, time consuming and almost impossible in coutries where Airbnb doesn't have a phone number. Meanwhile the booking takes up the dates making it impossible for the host to find suitable guests.

Please work on this issue as soon as possible as I can tell you from personal experience it is increadibly common.

in
St Helena, CA
Level 10

Ah, Monika is so right!  Wish I could edit to add:

 

3.  Add "3rd Party Booking" as a reason to "CANCEL."

 

Evidence of the request being made on behalf of someone else is evident in the text of the messages, making it easy for AirBnb staff to confirm (or perhaps deny) the appropriateness of the host either DECLINING, FLAGGING, or CANCELING on this basis.

 

Excellent contribution Monika who has been further down the rabbit hole than I have.

in
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Level 10
I wholeheartedly agree. Also, if a guest request is (mistakenly or purposely) issued for less guests than they mention in their message, the generic parting Airbnb 'advice' to make sure I state things more clearly in my listing is just insolent and clearly no help.
in
St Helena, CA
Level 10

So to SUMMARIZE from various sources of feedback, I think the solution is to expand the AirBnb PULL-DOWN MENUS to allow us to simultaneously inform AirBnb of the 3RD PARTY BOOKING ATTEMPT and:

1.  DECLINE, which sends an invitation to properly register

2.  CANCEL, ditto, without penalty to host

3.  FLAG USER, indicating host believes an intentional attempt to sublet or otherwise misuse the platform to sell or book space for undisclosed guest.  In this case, the messaging would support the Trust & Safety concern.

 

This would automate, inform, and reduce a lot of stress!  Hosts don't want to be the police, we want to focus on hospitality 🙂

in
Llandegfan, United Kingdom
Level 2

Agree with all the suggestions put forward.

Level 3

I agree as well.  I lost a booking because I was following protocol and let a wife know that her husband needed to create his own account and send the request in through his account since he would be the one traveling and not traveling with her.

 

I've also heard that if we were to accept a 3rd party booking and something happened we would not be covered by AirBnB.

 

Something needs to be set up to help/allow an adult to book for a non-tech savy person (ie. an adult child booking a place for their older parents who are coming to visit but perhaps they don't have the space in their home so their parents need a close place to stay).

in
Durban, South Africa
Level 2

I don’t mind third party bookings as I understand it’s mostly because the person wants to pay for the guest. Boss paying for employer, mother parting for daughter... I would however like to have the profile information of the actual guest available and also be covered by Airbnb if anything goes wrong. Why not, instead of banning all third party bookings, make it available to pay for someone else/ setup an account without payment details or things like that.. these instances aren’t always business related travelers, so they can’t use the business travel option. 

in
Charlotte, NC
Level 2

Agree... AND ... give hosts (like me) a quick and easy way to inform these people of the correct path.  I've already spent an hour trying to figure out why the links that say "register your company for Airbnb Work" all lead to a "make a reservation" page for business travel.  There's no "registration" step for someone who already has a reservation??

 

BTW... since learning of this limitation, I too am struck by how prevalent it is.  LOTS of my previous guests were booked this way, and now I'm turning them away!  Help!